We left Calgary Oct.1st. Our first stop was Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. This brings up some important events over the summer.
1. We have bought 2 adjoining lots in Maple Creek (MC) and plan to build a new house there. MC is located 4 hours east of Calgary, just over the SK border. We will move there eventually, to retire. We have done the opposite of most people, essentially facilitated by having no kids. We lived in a condo most of our lives together, travelling all over the world, cycling, birding and having a pretty great time! We have never had bird feeders, etc. so are looking forward to a new way of life! The lots have some very large trees, which will provide excellent for cover for birds – plus we’ll have a bird bath and perhaps some bird houses. Here are some shots of the 2 small delapidated dwellings as they went down – taken from the street by our lovely real-estate agent, Betty Abbott.
The street is lined with huge elm trees. as are many of the streets in MC, planted in the town many years ago. Apparently there are more elms per population than anywhere else in Canada (population of MC only 2500)! We plan to start building our home in the spring when we return from this trip – WHICH IS LIKELY THE LAST ONE WE’LL TAKE TO THE US!
2. They sold LivingWorks – to 2 corporate lawyers! This was done according to Bill & his partner’s wishes – for a decent sum, still keeping the present board while the new partners “bone up” on the LW world, keeping staff for at least 5 years & keeping corporate headquarters in Calgary. This ensures the world will be a suicide safer place for (hopefully) another 30 years or so! Yay!
3. Had some extra eyelid material removed, as it was starting to interfere with my vision. All good there, birding should be better than ever!
4. Had as piece of my face removed (skin cancer) about the size of my thumbnail with some reconstruction, but thank goodness all cancer gone! I’ve had it taken off with nitro in the same place at least 3 times, so I guess this time it sank deeper. How lucky my dermatologist was able to get me into a special place that not only removed the growth but tested it in a lab just behind the operating room, to make sure all cancer gone. It is between my nose and lip on the left side. Dr. Arnett did the reconstruction, pulling up the skin from below, giving me a bit of a sneer at the moment. Hopefully this will go down in a few weeks. I don’t feel I quite look myself, but Bill still loves me, so that’s all that counts (& I think my Mom loves me too!)
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Driving down here, we stopped in 6 more places, after Maple Creek:
1. Estevan, SK
2. Jamestown, ND
3. Sioux City, SD
4. Kansas City, MO
5. Paducah, KY
6. Chattanooga, TN
Our drive through the Dakotas was pretty serene. We passed through some of Nebraska & Iowa on the way to Kansas City, MO. Then the traffic got worse with lots more big trucks & many more lanes. Going through St. Louis, MO was very hairy – a city of over 3 million in the greater area. Nashville wasn’t as big, but just about as busy (though it seemed a bit exciting just to be there). As we arrived in Chattanooga (which always seemed quite glamorous because of the Choo Choo) we drove through a small corner of Georgia. So we have touched more new states than I never thought we would! Dead animals on the road included raccoons, oppossums & deer.
We’re now ensconced at a private RV park in the Smoky Mtns of NC at a beautiful location where we can see the changing of the colors. There are only about 7 or 8 sites & it is extremely quiet! The weather is also gorgeous (though we had a day of rain) – with highs in the low 20’s & lows in the mid-teens – PERFECT! The change of colors is really just starting now, so photos from Bill later! He is working for a few days, so we’ll post photos in another blog.
Oh – but we got out for a quick walk today (to the top of the mountain) and saw this beautiful bracket fungus – unlike I’ve ever seen. Curly! About a foot across!